Community Policing

Topics: Police, Crime, Crime prevention Pages: 6 (971 words) Published: July 22, 2013


OCTOBER 26, 2012



Kelling and Moore in their article “The Evolving Strategy of Policing” state that in the

1970’s police agencies entered into a new organizational strategy known as the

‘Community Era. ‘ They contend we are still in this era in 2012. They further

describe this era as something “new” and “different.” It is through this strategic era

and its employed tactics that police continue their quest of crime control today.

Many argue that this ‘Community Era’ or community policing is either a strategy or

a tactic. It appears to be the combination of the two that make it effective. A

strategy is an idea or plan that tactics, the legs under the idea, implement. Although

community policing was most likely the implementation of a strategy to emphasize

crime control and prevention (Kelling and Moore, 1988) it was the tactics involved

that gave it energy.

Since community policing is a strategy wrapped around civic engagement (Skogan

and Frydl, 2004) many tactics were employed to facilitate. Increased foot patrols

were key in police officers engaging the public. It was through this marketing with

the public (Kelling and Moore, 1988) that a feeling of safety enshrouded the

community. It also assisted immensely in crime solving. Police were given tips

toward the specifics of a crime many times from a direct witness. The crime

stoppers initiative is an excellent example of the reliance on community that law

enforcement needs to solve crime. Further, “marketing” between officers was cited

as a relevant development in community policing. The sharing of information shed

light on cases in which other officers were investigating.

In the same effort to engage with civic marketing many other tactics were

implemented. This included increased counseling for victims and a hastened

response to emergencies (Kelling and Moore, 1988). Officers and community were

better educated on communication and police involvement. Decentralization was

also a key to the community policing strategy (Skogan and Frydl 2004). This placed

community issues directly on beat police and the identification and resolution of

crime issues on mid-level officers (detectives and/or managers). All of these tactics

are keys to the strategy of community policing.

The community police strategy is due in part to a theory entitled “Broken Window”

which elicited a direct response (Wilson and Kelling, 1982). This theory is an easier

concept to see in action today than upon it’s development twenty years ago.

Consider the housing boom and now the current state of housing where many

homes are simply abandoned due to mortgage failures. This theory states that these

houses are vulnerable because of emptiness and being abandoned, and thus, the

entire neighbor hood eventually becomes neglected due to lack of caring. The

theory takes a step further in that by neglecting the small things, i.e., broken

windows, that quality of life deteriorates. One of the responses to this theory is the

development of community policing.

Since there are many tactics police have had to employ, as discussed above, in the

strategy of community policing it is obvious that there are many implications these

have to police. In the age of technology agencies have had to adapt to new

ideas. The creation of the cell phone has caused not only positive but negative

implications in community policing (Wilson and Kelling, 1982). For example, police

are more likely to receive public tips because of the number of citizens that possess

cell phones and their readiness to use (both to communicate and photograph).

However, there are negatives in that it is more difficult, time and cost consuming to

trace these...

References: 1 CJ780_DL_Module1_Fall2012_FINAL.pdf 
2 National Research Council.  2004.  Fairness and Effectiveness in Police:  The Evidence.  Committee to Review Research on Police Policy and Practices, Wesley Skogan and Kathleen Frydl, (Eds.), Committee on Law and Justice, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington DC: The National Academies Press. Chapter 3 “The Nature of Policing in the United States” pgs. 47-107.
3 Walker, Samuel and Katz, Charles M.  2002.  The history of American police.  Chapter 2 (pps. 22-56) in The Police in America: An Introduction, Fourth Edition.  Boston:  McGraw Hill.
4 Kelling, George L. and Moore, Mark H.  1988.  The evolving strategy of policing.  Perspective on Policing, volume 4.  Washington, D.C.: National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice. 
5 Wilson, James Q. and Kelling, George L.  1982.  Broken windows: The police and neighborhood safety. The Atlantic Monthly, 29-38.
6 Walker, Samuel. 1984. "Broken Windows" and fractured history: The use and misuse of history in recent police patrol analysis. Justice Quarterly, 1:75-90.
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